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dancer67

Can you be a Christian and still

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The Constitution and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and have since this country was founded. Did you ever hear of a clergyperson being forced to perform an interfaith wedding? Or a Rabbi being forced to marry two Catholics?

 

But what if this couple went to the same church... will they be able to sue due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

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I think one of the best ways to handle the marriage/civil union issue (IMHO)

is to do as is done in France.

 

The legal union is done at the court house, or town hall, basically. This ensures all legal rights to the couple. This is the joining that matters with regard to the state.

 

Then, if the religious couple wants a religious ceremony, they have one as well, but it does not confer legal standing. It is strictly religious. One does not affect the other, and the religious officient can only recognize the couple as married in the laws of their religion, not the state.

 

Religious people feel they have the only right to "marriage", but happily admit that there's is a god-inspired concept. A religious marriage unites them in the sight of their deity of choice, but does not confer legal rights. So, it's unfair to conflate the two, both for the religious people and for non-religious people.

 

Religious officiants in the US are granted "by the state" the right to confer legal rights. We should stop doing that so as to not blur the line. Here's an example of this in "real time"

 

Thinking about the LDS version of the eternal marriage. Theirs is a special, religious marriage that binds participants for "time and all eternity". This is separate from the legal contract as well. It is a different sort of marriage than most religions recognize, and one different that our laws recognize.

 

I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

 

:iagree: I believe this is how it is done in Quebec as well.

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But what if this couple went to the same church... will they be able to sue due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

 

Why would ANY couple choose to belong to ANY organization that refused to recognize their freedom to marry?

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But what if this couple went to the same church... will they be able to sue due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

 

I would imagine that most churches that would deny marriage to a same-sex couple would also deny full membership to an openly gay person. Even if they didn't, they still wouldn't have to marry them.

 

AFAIK, divorced people can be full members of the RCC. But, the RCC can and does deny marriage to people who have been divorced.

 

Churches can refuse to marry anybody they want, for any reason they want. If I'm not mistaken, a pastor can refuse to marry a couple just because they don't feel they are sufficiently compatible.

 

Given the many, many situations in which churches are allowed to deny marriage to people, I think it's pretty much nothing but paranoia to think there's any chance that the government would force any church to perform same-sex unions. I suppose there's a possibility that a denomination could force pastors within their denomination to perform same-sex unions or marriages even if the individual pastor doesn't want to. But that would be something happening at the level of the religious institution, not the state, and that could happen whether gay marriage is legal or not. And, I'm not even sure that could happen; an individual pastor would probably have the right to refuse, and they could certainly leave the denomination.

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The Constitution and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and have since this country was founded. Did you ever hear of a clergyperson being forced to perform an interfaith wedding? Or a Rabbi being forced to marry two Catholics?

 

But what if this couple went to the same church... will they be able to sue due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

 

No, for the same reason that a Jewish person and a Christian person can't sue for religious discrimination if some clergyperson won't marry them, and for the same reason that a divorced person can't sue a Catholic priest for refusing to remarry them without an annulment. Religions get to set their own standards for religious marriage in their churches, regardless of whether those standards are discriminatory under federal law.

 

The question is, and has always been, equal access to civil marriage.

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Why would ANY couple choose to belong to ANY organization that refused to recognize their freedom to marry?
\

 

Exactly. It's none of the government's business if a religion won't do a RELIGIOUS ceremony for certain people. Separation of church and state.

 

Ever hear of anyone suing the LDS church for not performing an eternal marriage ceremony for them? No. There's no legal standing for such a thing.

 

You can't sue the Catholic Church for not serving you Communion.

 

You can't sue a synagogue for not letting you blow the shofar.

 

(Granted, maybe some people have tried. . .but there's no legal basis, but some people in the US will sue over anything :) Suffice it to say, it would never get anywhere.

 

You wouldn't be able to sue the S. Baptist church for not giving you a Baptist same-sex marriage because the religious magic is in no way associated with legal rights or standing. It has nothing to do with the law.

 

Giving religious officiants the right to confer legal standing is where it becomes tricky.

 

Do away with that horsepucky, and everyone is safer. :D

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But what if this couple went to the same church... will they be able to sue due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?
Way back when a Catholic priest refused to marry two friends of mine (who were both church going Catholics) because he thought they weren't ready. It was something to do with their marriage course.

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I think one of the best ways to handle the marriage/civil union issue (IMHO)

is to do as is done in France.

 

The legal union is done at the court house, or town hall, basically. This ensures all legal rights to the couple. This is the joining that matters with regard to the state.

 

Then, if the religious couple wants a religious ceremony, they have one as well, but it does not confer legal standing. It is strictly religious. One does not affect the other, and the religious officient can only recognize the couple as married in the laws of their religion, not the state.

 

Religious people feel they have the only right to "marriage", but happily admit that there's is a god-inspired concept. A religious marriage unites them in the sight of their deity of choice, but does not confer legal rights. So, it's unfair to conflate the two, both for the religious people and for non-religious people.

 

Religious officiants in the US are granted "by the state" the right to confer legal rights. We should stop doing that so as to not blur the line. Here's an example of this in "real time"

 

Thinking about the LDS version of the eternal marriage. Theirs is a special, religious marriage that binds participants for "time and all eternity". This is separate from the legal contract as well. It is a different sort of marriage than most religions recognize, and one different that our laws recognize.

 

I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

But what if this couple went to the same church... will they be able to sue due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

 

I completely understand why you ask. But I'm struggling to think of a reasonable scenario for this.

 

I can't presume to have any idea about this, as I don't know any same-sex couples hoping to have be married, but somehow I can't imagine a couple asking someone that believes they are in sin to bless their marriage. I think of non-religious male/female couples that took care in finding an officiant that they liked and would express the kind of ceremony they desired. I just can't imagine a same-sex couple wanting someone officiating their ceremony that wasn't supportive of their union. I know I'm not speaking from any experience so I'm sure I haven't thought of something, but that's just my initial thought.

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Way back when a Catholic priest refused to marry two friends of mine (who were both church going Catholics) because he thought they weren't ready. It was something to do with their marriage course.

 

A minister refused to marry my sister and her fiance because they were living in sin. He wanted them to live apart for a minimum period (I forgot how many months) before he would marry them.

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I agree that the language we use really does make a difference here. For example, I'd assume that your brother says he is "married," even though in a Christian view of marriage, he isn't. I think that if everyone saw it this way -- that "married" is a religious word and "joined" or some similar description is secular -- we wouldn't have this debate (at least, not among most people). Then everyone would be joined, and religious people would, in addition, be married. Popular usage, however, says that "married" is what we want, not "joined." So how do we reconcile that? I don't know. :(

 

:iagree:I was MARRIED by the mayor of our town at townhall.

 

 

I think one of the best ways to handle the marriage/civil union issue (IMHO)

is to do as is done in France.

 

The legal union is done at the court house, or town hall, basically. This ensures all legal rights to the couple. This is the joining that matters with regard to the state.

 

Then, if the religious couple wants a religious ceremony, they have one as well, but it does not confer legal standing. It is strictly religious. One does not affect the other, and the religious officient can only recognize the couple as married in the laws of their religion, not the state.

 

Religious people feel they have the only right to "marriage", but happily admit that there's is a god-inspired concept. A religious marriage unites them in the sight of their deity of choice, but does not confer legal rights. So, it's unfair to conflate the two, both for the religious people and for non-religious people.

 

Religious officiants in the US are granted "by the state" the right to confer legal rights. We should stop doing that so as to not blur the line. Here's an example of this in "real time"

 

Thinking about the LDS version of the eternal marriage. Theirs is a special, religious marriage that binds participants for "time and all eternity". This is separate from the legal contract as well. It is a different sort of marriage than most religions recognize, and one different that our laws recognize.

 

I suggest that the only partnership that gives couples legal standing in the US (which is a legal entity) is the civil union. Everyone is entitled to this. For religious people who want a religious "marriage" in addition, they should get one from their religious organization.

 

Voila, problem solved!

 

Church out of state. State out of church!

 

No rights infringed upon!

 

Sounds like a great idea to me.

 

The Constitution and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, and have since this country was founded. Did you ever hear of a clergyperson being forced to perform an interfaith wedding? Or a Rabbi being forced to marry two Catholics?

 

I would imagine that most churches that would deny marriage to a same-sex couple would also deny full membership to an openly gay person. Even if they didn't, they still wouldn't have to marry them.

 

AFAIK, divorced people can be full members of the RCC. But, the RCC can and does deny marriage to people who have been divorced.

 

Churches can refuse to marry anybody they want, for any reason they want. If I'm not mistaken, a pastor can refuse to marry a couple just because they don't feel they are sufficiently compatible.

 

Given the many, many situations in which churches are allowed to deny marriage to people, I think it's pretty much nothing but paranoia to think there's any chance that the government would force any church to perform same-sex unions. I suppose there's a possibility that a denomination could force pastors within their denomination to perform same-sex unions or marriages even if the individual pastor doesn't want to. But that would be something happening at the level of the religious institution, not the state, and that could happen whether gay marriage is legal or not. And, I'm not even sure that could happen; an individual pastor would probably have the right to refuse, and they could certainly leave the denomination.

 

:iagree: with both of these.

 

A few states have allowed civil unions for a while now, have any churches been successfully sued for not marrying a same-sex couple?

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A few states have allowed civil unions for a while now, have any churches been successfully sued for not marrying a same-sex couple?

 

Good point. It's one thing to have people file suits like that, a whole 'nother if whether thos suits are successful or not.

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I agree that the language we use really does make a difference here. For example, I'd assume that your brother says he is "married," even though in a Christian view of marriage, he isn't. I think that if everyone saw it this way -- that "married" is a religious word and "joined" or some similar description is secular -- we wouldn't have this debate (at least, not among most people). Then everyone would be joined, and religious people would, in addition, be married. Popular usage, however, says that "married" is what we want, not "joined." So how do we reconcile that? I don't know. :(

 

eh? I've never heard any Christians say that people who got married by a judge or whatever weren't actually "married".

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Polygamy is illegal in this country even though there are religious groups that include it in their doctrine. It has been brought to the courts (years ago) but still is a US law today.

 

I didn't think that there was legislation in progress to make homosexual acts illegal?

 

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/08/30/AFA_Spokesman_Wants_to_Recriminalize_Homosexuality/ - there are some who would like to recriminalize homosexuality. However, Lawrence v. Texas, ruling on right to privacy (I think that was the basic premise: Privacy) basically made homosexual acts BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS legal.

 

When the raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch happened, I heard at least one attorney mention that LvT also makes polygamy legal if you don't involve the state and it involves consenting adults. All states have bigamy laws - you cannot file for marriage licenses to more than one person: Jane can't legally marry Tom and Ray. HOWEVER, legally, Jane can marry Tom with official state recognition and then have a marriage ceremony where she also marries Ray and not file for a marriage license. She would be married in the eyes of her accepting family, and the eyes of her god if she has one, but the state wouldn't consider her married to Ray.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill - this is honestly scary. And if you think it would only happen elsewhere, read the bit about how 3 Americans went to a conference to talk about how homosexuality is ruining everything (well, maybe not EVERYTHING...). And not just really marginalized Christians. There was someone there from Exodus International, and they do events with Focus on the Family as an example.

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eh? I've never heard any Christians say that people who got married by a judge or whatever weren't actually "married".

 

I have. Well, not married ENOUGH. That it's not a real religious marriage if it doesn't happen in the church. I forget what denomination this was, but the basic premise was that it was okay if you wanted to get married by a judge, but you'd still have to have a second ceremony with a minister/pastor/priest.

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I agree that the language we use really does make a difference here. For example, I'd assume that your brother says he is "married," even though in a Christian view of marriage, he isn't. I think that if everyone saw it this way -- that "married" is a religious word and "joined" or some similar description is secular -- we wouldn't have this debate (at least, not among most people). Then everyone would be joined, and religious people would, in addition, be married. Popular usage, however, says that "married" is what we want, not "joined." So how do we reconcile that? I don't know. :(

 

Since the word "marriage" has meant other than the modern Christian definition for thousands of years now--and had many, many different types of marriages that it pertains to, I think it should be the word used to convey the legal sense.

 

Why does it matter what you call it in your religious terms. Is it to easier to judge people. Oh, Peter and Sally got married, but Margaret and Paul got "Religious married"?

 

Let's take the LDS example again. Mormons say they were "married in the temple" that conveys their religious sense they want.

 

I think each religion could use it's own word or terminology. Maybe Christians can use the Greek or Aramaic or Hebrew, or whichever the prefer. Maybe they can come up with their own word that pertains to their denomination.

 

"Marriage" doesn't mean what you're saying it means. There is no strictly religious term for marriage in Christian parlance, that I'm aware of. What we have now, as you mentioned, is a conflation of the legal and the religious. And what has been accepted as "marriage" has had dozens of incarnations throughout history. I think you'll have a hard time proving that "marriage" means only the Christian concept of "spiritual joining". Surely, if you are HistoryMom, you know that :) Marriage, in modern parlance, is primarily a legal term.

 

Do you object Muslims being "married" since they're not Christian and don't have a Christian "marriage"? (If you insist "marriage" is only as your god meant it?)

 

But this is a semantics issue. I don't think gays will give a carp what anyone calls it, so long as it's equal in the eyes of the law.

 

But, if I were pressed on the issue, I'd say, let's keep the word "marriage" for legal examples, and let each religion come up with it's own word for their religious joining.

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I would imagine that most churches that would deny marriage to a same-sex couple would also deny full membership to an openly gay person. Even if they didn't, they still wouldn't have to marry them.

 

 

Completely untrue. And they have groups that meet in every state. And, because Priests live chastely, it's not like they're being hypocritical. Many around the NY metro area have very vibrant communities.

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eh? I've never heard any Christians say that people who got married by a judge or whatever weren't actually "married".

 

I have. Well, not married ENOUGH. That it's not a real religious marriage if it doesn't happen in the church. I forget what denomination this was, but the basic premise was that it was okay if you wanted to get married by a judge, but you'd still have to have a second ceremony with a minister/pastor/priest.

 

Ahhh. I haven't heard it - but of course that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

 

Slightly unrelated sidenote: my atheist parents were married in a church - more specifically, my atheist father and STEPmother.. so it was a marriage after a divorce even. :p

 

I don't know what denomination the church was - Protestant of some type< I assume.. I just remember it being really big and full of people. [i was the 6 year old flower girl]

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Fair enough. :) When I applied for my marriage license, I was told that there are two valid ways to execute the license: 1) get married by a judge at the courthouse OR 2) get married by a religious officiant. There was no third option to get married by a secular officiant outside of the courthouse.

 

FWIW, in PA we have a third option. Because of our large Quaker population, it is not necessary to have an officiant at all. Couples (even non-Quakers) can marry themselves to each other. You need two witnesses. After getting the Quaker version of the marriage license, you all four sign the form, tear off the bottom, and send it in, and you're legally married. The religious aspect/ceremony, if any, is your business to do as you please.

 

I'll offer my church as an example. We believe that gay and lesbian couples are fully equal, and they are equally cherished in our religious tradition. My minister, who is ordained and empowered by the state of Maryland to marry heterosexual couples, would happily marry gay or lesbian couples and bless their relationships as sacred. The state forbids him to.

 

The state forbids him to perform LEGAL/civil marriages. I think he can do as he pleases regarding religious marriage (within the rules of your denomination).

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Heather, I can't speak for Bill, but although I may want all Christians to leave judgment of same-sex couples alone, I don't think it's reasonable for me to expect it of them.

 

I agree with what I take Bill's point to be: if there are churches which accept same-sex relationships, why shouldn't those churches be allowed to marry same-sex couples? I'll offer my church as an example. We believe that gay and lesbian couples are fully equal, and they are equally cherished in our religious tradition. My minister, who is ordained and empowered by the state of Maryland to marry heterosexual couples, would happily marry gay or lesbian couples and bless their relationships as sacred. The state forbids him to.

 

How is that not a violation of his religious freed,om? Why should the dictates of your faith be enshrined in law and the dictates of my faith be forbidden? How does protection of your religious rights require that my minister not exercise his?

 

Here's an analogy I've made before:

 

What would be wrong with a federal law that prohibited the ordination of women? Many religions believe that ordination is a sacred status that pertains only to men.

 

Why shouldn't their religious convictions be respected by enshrining that status in federal law? Denominations which do ordain women could use a secondary status, maybe called a "lay worship leader." Those women could still do all the same parts of their job, but it would be clear that ordination is something sacred and different that women cannot be part of, and historically have never been part of. After all, liberals like the Episcopalians, United Methodists, Presbyterians, American Baptists, and so on can't expect to get to shove their modern, inclusive definition of who gets to receive a sacrament down everyone else's throat.

 

...If that seems like an obvious example of the federal government infringing on some people's religious freedom in order to enforce other people's religious preferences - and I hope that it does - you are left with the need to explain why some religious denominations' opposition to gay marriage trumps other denominations' support.

 

You can speak for me anytime, as you made the point perfectly!

 

Bill

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You did make some good points Rivka.

I get that many believe we should have a religiously neutral government. I couldn't disagree more. I believe the Creator of all things should be in charge of all of His creations. So, since I follow the Creator above the created, I vote how His word dictates life should be.
If God wanted it that way, then it would be.

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Heather, I can't speak for Bill, but although I may want all Christians to leave judgment of same-sex couples alone, I don't think it's reasonable for me to expect it of them.

 

I agree with what I take Bill's point to be: if there are churches which accept same-sex relationships, why shouldn't those churches be allowed to marry same-sex couples? I'll offer my church as an example. We believe that gay and lesbian couples are fully equal, and they are equally cherished in our religious tradition. My minister, who is ordained and empowered by the state of Maryland to marry heterosexual couples, would happily marry gay or lesbian couples and bless their relationships as sacred. The state forbids him to.

 

How is that not a violation of his religious freedom? Why should the dictates of your faith be enshrined in law and the dictates of my faith be forbidden? How does protection of your religious rights require that my minister not exercise his?

 

Here's an analogy I've made before:

 

What would be wrong with a federal law that prohibited the ordination of women? Many religions believe that ordination is a sacred status that pertains only to men.

 

Why shouldn't their religious convictions be respected by enshrining that status in federal law? Denominations which do ordain women could use a secondary status, maybe called a "lay worship leader." Those women could still do all the same parts of their job, but it would be clear that ordination is something sacred and different that women cannot be part of, and historically have never been part of. After all, liberals like the Episcopalians, United Methodists, Presbyterians, American Baptists, and so on can't expect to get to shove their modern, inclusive definition of who gets to receive a sacrament down everyone else's throat.

 

...If that seems like an obvious example of the federal government infringing on some people's religious freedom in order to enforce other people's religious preferences - and I hope that it does - you are left with the need to explain why some religious denominations' opposition to gay marriage trumps other denominations' support.

 

I hadn't seen this before Spy Car commented on it--but this is brilliant!

 

A very fine example and comparison! Wow!

 

:thumbup:

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DH and I were married in a courthouse. I never thought of anyone not thinking our marraige was "real", not that it bothers me. :tongue_smilie:

 

I truly wish that this could be completely separate: marraige in a church, with a clergymember

 

OR

 

marraige by a state person (not making myself clear, have a pie to bake) like a judge.

 

We have a marraige license approved by the state. We never involved clergy people at all. To me the whole bible issue is moot when it comes to state matters. If YOU want to have YOUR religious standards for YOUR wedding then have at it.....but, if we are getting the paperwork from the STATE then it should leave all religion out of it.j

 

The bottom line is this: If you don't want to have a gay marraige then don't have one, but don't tell other people that THEY can't. Don't want to have an abortion? Then don't have one, but don't tell people what THEY have to do.

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Don't feel bad-I'm one of those that was married by a judge and not in the church. MIL wanted DH and I to attend her very old school Catholic church one Sunday and the priest refused to acknowledge me when we were introduced b/c he told DH that we were living in sin and our son was a bast*rd. He told DH that he had to repent, do a bunch of hail Mary's, move out of our house and live as brother and sister until we could be married by a priest. THAT was a fun day at church! LOL I figured it would go that way but DH was very hurt and we never returned.

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I hadn't seen this before Spy Car commented on it--but this is brilliant!

 

A very fine example and comparison! Wow!

There is a big difference, though.

 

The ordained ministry is a religious institution.

 

Marriage is a religious institution (for religious people, at any rate), but it's also a social institution. At least, it has been seen that way throughout history.

 

This is fundamental to the discussion. People who believe marriage is now just a religious or personal thing, with no relevance to secular society, are likely to approach this issue very differently from people who believe that marriage is still an essential part of the social order.

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There is a big difference, though.

 

The ordained ministry is a religious institution.

 

Marriage is a religious institution (at least, for religious people), but it's also a social institution. At least, it has been seen that way throughout history.

 

This is fundamental to the discussion. People who believe marriage is now just a religious or personal thing, with no relevance to secular society, are likely to approach this issue very differently from people who believe that marriage is still an essential part of the social order.

 

Hmm. If your point is that some religious people see marriage as a religious institution apart from the idea of marriage as a social institution, I agree.

 

If we're talking about my suggestion about legal unions/marriages for all, and religious marriages only for the religious (and devoid of legal standing without the legal union). . .here's my response.

 

People who believe that marriage is merely a religious institution could have a religious marriage. No problem. They don't have to get a legal marriage. It wouldn't confer legal status upon them, that's fine.

 

If they want to have a legal marriage, which grants them legal standing and rights, they can have one of those as well.

 

Gay people can have one too. And, if their religious tradition permits, they can have a religious marriage too.

 

People who believe that religious marriage is the only marriage shouldn't expect the state to uphold that. Look at Rikva's point about women in leadership in the Church. (She's not arguing about women in leadership and marriage both being "legal institutions" You're trying to apply an additional argument to her analogy.)

 

If you're saying that some religious people can't divorce (Hee!) secular marriage from religious marriage. . .well, frankly, that's their problem.

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There is a big difference, though.

 

The ordained ministry is a religious institution.

 

Marriage is a religious institution (for religious people, at any rate), but it's also a social institution. At least, it has been seen that way throughout history.

 

This is fundamental to the discussion. People who believe marriage is now just a religious or personal thing, with no relevance to secular society, are likely to approach this issue very differently from people who believe that marriage is still an essential part of the social order.

 

Maybe a better comparison would be polygamy.

Various religious groups believe in this but yet it is still not legal in the US. I'm sure there are obscure religious ceremonies that practice it but they are not accepted in a legal sense nor is it part of the larger social order.

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Hmm. If your point is that some religious people see marriage as a religious institution apart from the idea of marriage as a social institution, I agree. (...)

 

People who believe that religious marriage is the only marriage shouldn't expect the state to uphold that. Look at Rikva's point about women in leadership in the Church.

No, my point was something different. I took Rivka's argument to mean the following:

 

1) If a church wants to ordain women, then the government shouldn't prohibit that.

 

2) In the same way, if a minister wants to marry same-sex couples, then the government should accept that as a legal marriage.

 

 

ETA: The implication seems to be that both #1 (i.e., who can be ordained) and #2 (i.e., who can be legally married) are none of the government's business.

 

 

My response was that #1 is just a religious issue, while #2 is both a religious and a social issue (because marriage isn't just a religious institution). So, IMO, they're not really comparable.

 

(If Rivka was talking about something else -- like the church performing a ceremony and calling the couple "married in the eyes of the church," but with the realization that they would not be legally married -- then that would be a different scenario.)

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No, my point was something different. I took Rivka's argument to mean the following:

 

1) If a church wants to ordain women, then the government shouldn't prohibit that.

 

2) In the same way, if a minister wants to marry same-sex couples, then the government should accept that as a legal marriage.

 

 

ETA: The implication seems to be that both #1 (i.e., who can be ordained) and #2 (i.e., who can be legally married) are none of the government's business.

 

 

My response was that #1 is just a religious issue, while #2 is both a religious and a social issue (because marriage isn't just a religious institution). So, IMO, they're not really comparable.

 

(If Rivka was talking about something else -- like, the church performing a blessing and calling the couple "married in the eyes of the church," but with the realization that they would not be legally married -- then that would be a different scenario.)

 

Ok, thinking through my fingers here.

 

You took Rivka's statement to mean, "2) In the same way, if a minister wants to marry same-sex couples, then the government should accept that as a legal marriage"

 

I can surely see how you took that to be the case as she says it in one of the first paragraphs.

 

However, let's go back to "what the state allows" separate from the women in leadership point (which you find to be a false equivalence).

 

Marriage is a state legitimized status. It is licensed by the state, and both its solution and dissolution are overseen by the legal system. The state is mostly willing to delegate authority for the actual ceremony and signing of the marriage license to a religious/or non-religious authority the couple so chooses.

 

This does not confer primacy on that religion (or non-religious authority), it's just something nice that the state does to save money, and to cater to people's preferences for being married by/in the presence of/under the authority of whatever institution they are happiest with.

 

Regardless of whatever the religious institution does, it cannot, on its own, legally marry or divorce couples with state sanction.

 

It all boils down to the state conferring power onto the church for this act.

 

Thus, to my mind, if a religious organization wants to marry people, wants to recognize marriage in the eyes of their institution, that's fine, but it does not confer legal status upon it. (Which would also work in my civil union/marriage scenario).

 

Now, the issue is that there is a lot of contention about what Should be legitimized as marriage for legal status. The reason that we vote on these things is that it is primarily a legal ie. state matter. Not in churches, for what institutes religious marriage, they can do whatever they want. However, if you want legal recognition by the state you have to have a relationship that fits the definition the state holds.

 

Now, what definition should the state hold?

 

Many people, on the non-gay marriage side have "Steve and Bob can't marry because my religion says so." You really can't argue with these people at the root of this point. Though sometimes there are side additions they use to throw you off that are worth a try. :) "Think of the Children! They will be confused!" "How will we continue to populate the world?" "Oh, no, if we legalize this. . .pedophilia next!" (We already saw that in a previous post.) But, really, much of the protest comes down to religion (God doesn't like it!) and the "ick" factor. (Eek! That's just gross!)

 

Should this control our government? What our state says should be legal marriage?

 

After all, our government has primacy here in the legality of marriage.

 

I think "no."

 

I still think the only way to make it fair is to make it legal (state) for all willing couples, and reserve religious ceremony (church, temple, priest, rabbi, whatever) for the religious.

 

Again, in marriage, the church acts as an agent of the state (unfortunately, for both sides, I think) in helping to marry people The state shouldn't be an agent of the church in deciding who gets to be married.

 

These should be clearly separate.

 

I think I've about exhausted myself on the issue for now.

 

Thanks for a very stimulating discussion.

 

I do hope, some day, my gay couple friends will have safe, happy, environments where they are seen as equal under the law, and worthy by people.

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Don't feel bad-I'm one of those that was married by a judge and not in the church. MIL wanted DH and I to attend her very old school Catholic church one Sunday and the priest refused to acknowledge me when we were introduced b/c he told DH that we were living in sin and our son was a bast*rd. He told DH that he had to repent, do a bunch of hail Mary's, move out of our house and live as brother and sister until we could be married by a priest. THAT was a fun day at church! LOL I figured it would go that way but DH was very hurt and we never returned.

 

Same here. Although I'd love to be married by my church at some point, my husband is, on a good day(;)), agnostic. I feel it would be disrespectful to both him and my church to have that church wedding even if both agreed to it somehow. So it's been 13 great years of civil marriage for us.

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Many people, on the non-gay marriage side have "Steve and Bob can't marry because my religion says so." You really can't argue with these people at the root of this point.

I agree that scriptural arguments are unproductive in a context where not everyone shares the same religious beliefs. I've said as much several times. Catholics don't tend to rely on those types of arguments in the public square, so it's something I find hard to relate to.

 

I still think the only way to make it fair is to make it legal (state) for all willing couples, and reserve religious ceremony (church, temple, priest, rabbi, whatever) for the religious.

 

Again, in marriage, the church acts as an agent of the state (unfortunately, for both sides, I think) in helping to marry people The state shouldn't be an agent of the church in deciding who gets to be married.

Once again, this presumes that the state has no business in making laws regarding who is eligible to get married. Governments throughout history haven't seen it that way. They have a legitimate interest in making decisions that promote the good of society (aka the common good), and marriage has traditionally been seen as an important aspect of this. Of course, the debate comes in when people have different philosophies about what the "good" is.

 

I think I'm done with this thread too (it's gone pretty far from the OP's question), but if someone wants to discuss the "natural law" or "the common good" in a less contentious context, it might be helpful to start a new thread. These concepts go back to Plato and Aristotle, so they would certainly be an appropriate topic for a classical education board. :)

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I agree that scriptural arguments are unproductive in a context where not everyone shares the same religious beliefs. I've said as much several times. Catholics don't tend to rely on those types of arguments in the public square, so it's something I find hard to relate to.

 

 

Once again, this presumes that the state has no business in making laws regarding who is eligible to get married. Governments throughout history haven't seen it that way. They have a legitimate interest in making decisions that promote the good of society (aka the common good), and marriage has traditionally been seen as an important aspect of this. Of course, the debate comes in when people have different philosophies about what the "good" is.

 

I think I'm done with this thread too (it's gone pretty far from the OP's question), but if someone wants to discuss the "natural law" or "the common good" in a less contentious context, it might be helpful to start a new thread. These concepts go back to Plato and Aristotle, so they would certainly be an appropriate topic for a classical education board. :)

 

I'd certainly be willing to throw in with you on a "common good" ancient-Greek -style conversation regarding the legitimacy of homosexual marriage. :) (I agree that the government should have a say in who should be married, actually. And for "the common good". But included in my belief on the common good is that this can easily include marriage for homosexuals, which, perhaps, is the only real point where you and I differ.)

 

But. . .later. :)

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DH and I were married in a courthouse. I never thought of anyone not thinking our marraige was "real", not that it bothers me. :tongue_smilie:

 

I truly wish that this could be completely separate: marraige in a church, with a clergymember

 

OR

 

marraige by a state person (not making myself clear, have a pie to bake) like a judge.

 

I don't think it needs to be either/or (not that you were necessarily saying that), but I do think the conferring of legal rights and the religious blessing should be separate. So, a couple would have three options, if they were going to marry:

 

1. They could get married by a representative of the state, and have their marriage legally recognized. They could then get married in a church, and have their marriage given religious blessing.

 

2. They could get married by a representative of the state, and have a legally recognized marriage, without any religious blessing.

 

3. They could get married in a church and have their marriage given religious blessing but choose not to have the marriage legally recognized.

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Maybe a better comparison would be polygamy.

Various religious groups believe in this but yet it is still not legal in the US. I'm sure there are obscure religious ceremonies that practice it but they are not accepted in a legal sense nor is it part of the larger social order.

 

Honestly, I have no problem with the state recognizing polygamous marriages. The problem, though, is the marriage contract is designed to assign rights and responsibilities between two parties. You can very easily confer those rights and responsibilities to a gay couple; nothing changes. But, if you were to confer them to a polygamous relationship, you'd run into lots of issues.

 

When you hear GLBT people talk about why they want marriage rights, it's because of things like the ability to make medical decisions for their partner, to get custody, for inheritance, etc. How those things are worked out don't change depending on the genders of the people in the relationship. However, if you were to be dealing with 3 or 4 or 5 people, things get really tricky. Who makes the medical decisions? Who gets custody in the case of a divorce? Who inherits the estate?

 

Because of the inherent difficulties of those situations, it seems like the only workable solution is to have polygamous families work out their own contracts, because they simply could not fit into the framework provided by the marriage contract that currently exists. But I have no problem with the state recognizing the legitimacy of their contracts and, assuming everybody involved is a consenting adult, I really don't see any reason for them to be subject to harassment, legal penalty, or second-class legal status.

 

Once again, this presumes that the state has no business in making laws regarding who is eligible to get married. Governments throughout history haven't seen it that way. They have a legitimate interest in making decisions that promote the good of society (aka the common good), and marriage has traditionally been seen as an important aspect of this. Of course, the debate come

 

I think it's fine for the state to make laws regarding who is eligible to marry; however, I think when we're talking about consenting adults, the state should have a very clear, pressing, compelling, and legitimate reason to deny somebody that right.

 

If we're talking about the good of society, what is better: gay couples being able to form legally-recognized lifelong monogamous partnerships and having the responsibilities that such partnerships entail, or gay couples being barred from forming those unions? What is better: the children of gay parents being raised by two married parents or two unmarried parents? Because, those are the choices. It's not about whether it's better for a given person to be gay or straight; AFAIK, countries where gay marriage is legal do not have higher rates of homosexuality than countries where it isn't. Gay marriage won't make anybody gay, and being denied marriage rights won't cause anybody to become straight. And, it's not about whether it's better for children to be raised by straight or gay parents, because gay parents have children and they will be raising those children whether they are married or not.

 

I think we need to make any decisions about what's in the best interest of society with the recognition that there are and will always be gay people, they will form and will always form relationships, and some will and always will have children.

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Good point, Simka. :001_smile: I will think about the "render to Caesar".

 

I wonder if this is different, though, if you live in a democracy. In ancient Rome regular people had no influence on how things were run.

 

We live in a democracy-- if we have a change to influence legislation, shouldn't we do it? and, if the other side wins, democratically, I think that is their right.

 

In a sense "yes" and "no." Male Roman citizens could vote. And obviousy the Jewish leaders had some say in the governing of their territories.

 

Anyway, it was just something to consider. :grouphug:

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Good point, Simka. :001_smile: I will think about the "render to Caesar".

 

I wonder if this is different, though, if you live in a democracy. In ancient Rome regular people had no influence on how things were run.

 

We live in a democracy-- if we have a change to influence legislation, shouldn't we do it? and, if the other side wins, democratically, I think that is their right.

 

But we don't live in a democracy we live in a Constitutional Republic, one that guarantees equal protection under the law and a recognition of everyones basic civic and human rights. You simply can't deny people their essential human rights by force of a majority vote, that is not in keeping with American ideals.

 

Bill

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Of course, many I have heard say marriage isn't a right and they can get married, just not to someone of the same sex. I think many wonder where it ends with redefinition. Will plural marriages become legal? They should if same-sex marriage is allowed. There would be no reason not to allow it, right? I am not saying I use those statements, I haven't before. But I have heard them more than once.

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Maybe a better comparison would be polygamy.

Various religious groups believe in this but yet it is still not legal in the US. I'm sure there are obscure religious ceremonies that practice it but they are not accepted in a legal sense nor is it part of the larger social order.

I don't think it's an obscure religious ceremony, but rather various sets of marriages performed in the same way as those in monogamous relationships. I think most polygamous relationships are one man + multiple women, rather than a group thing, or where the women consider themselves to be wives of the other women. And if such a person was married to two different people, the end of one marriage would not end the other marriage, because they are independent.

 

I wonder, though, is the best place for resolving this sort of thing through marriage, or for people to have the right to leave their money and legal decisions to whomever they want? Should one's spouse necessarily have the right to decide about one's medical care, for example? What if you love your spouse but would rather your sibling or friend or whoever handle those things?

 

I also caution against jumping on the "Europeans have it all worked out" idea -- I read about elderly sisters in Brussels who each wanted to be able to inherit their shared house in the event that they died separately. They lost. One of them said, "If we were lesbians we would have all the rights in the world. But we are sisters, and it seems we have no rights at all." And the death of Stieg Larsson brought to light that his common law marriage did not entitle his partner to any financial benefit from the books.

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Why not? First, there are a lot of things that we disagree about wrt sin. Some of them seem pretty clear-cut in the Bible, too, but for the most part, we ignore them for the sake of relationships. (Ex: remarriage after divorce)

 

Do I think homosexuality is a sin? Yup. Do I think it's my job to say so? Nope. There are exceptions, of course--if a friend *asks* me, for ex. I watched a friend become a lesbian. Because of her faith, this was something she struggled w/ & asked for help/advice on. I told her the same thing I'd tell any friend who was moving toward an unwise relationship--you can't spend gobs & gobs of time in the presence of someone you find (mutually) attractive & expect that to go nowhere. Decide now while it's a little hard what you want to do, & act on that. Don't wait until the emotions are all tied up in knots & the right thing is nigh impossible to choose.

 

She agreed, decided to avoid the other girl, changed her mind, & became a lesbian. I haven't seen her since college, so things might be different now. To me, there are 2 layers of failure: the faith aspect, which may or may not be important to her & isn't my business unless asked, & the personal choice aspect--she didn't follow the path she set for herself. I think that's disappointing for anyone, whatever the path they choose. (Which is different from changing paths.)

 

As a general outlook, though, my favorite is the way it's put in the RC catechism: homosexuality is viewed as an unchosen, unavoidable biological state that requires a person (who would be w/out sin) to choose a life of abstinence. It's seen as a sacrifice & a beautiful one at that. Whether or not it's biology, this seems the most respectful way to view the situation.

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Of course, many I have heard say marriage isn't a right and they can get married, just not to someone of the same sex. I think many wonder where it ends with redefinition. Will plural marriages become legal? They should if same-sex marriage is allowed. There would be no reason not to allow it, right? I am not saying I use those statements, I haven't before. But I have heard them more than once.

 

TwoforJoy had a thoughtful post on plural marriages a bit further up on this page. I hadn't really given them that much thought until her post.

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I also caution against jumping on the "Europeans have it all worked out" idea -- I read about elderly sisters in Brussels who each wanted to be able to inherit their shared house in the event that they died separately. They lost. One of them said, "If we were lesbians we would have all the rights in the world. But we are sisters, and it seems we have no rights at all." And the death of Stieg Larsson brought to light that his common law marriage did not entitle his partner to any financial benefit from the books.

 

I don't know that we would have to change US inheritance law in order to make civil marriage (Hey, look at that. What if we used "civil marriage" and "religious marriage" as our terms? That way EVERYONE can be married!!) accessible to homosexual couples. If I lived with my sister in a house we jointly owned, and wished her to inherit my half in the even of my death, I would simply need to specify that in a will. (At least in Ohio.)

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So, then why even vote on anything. Make everything legal and do what you want. No, seriously. Since we all have our own personal reasons for how we vote, how can we dictate which reasons are valid for any vote. Why should your own personal morals dictate the law? Your personal beliefs? Your personal religion? If a Christian's reasons aren't good enough, then neither are your reasons. So we toss out all voting, make everything legal, and hang on for any personal ramifications.

 

It's ironic to say that a Christian shouldn't vote based on their religion while non-christians vote based on their own beliefs. It's the same thing. Just maybe a different vote. A non-christian belief based vote is no more valid than a Christian belief-based vote. You always vote based on beliefs. You believe it's right, you vote. You believe it's wrong, you vote. So, it seems you either stop all voting or you relax and realize our reasons are just as valid as your reasons.

 

This is one level to voting, civics, morality--on that level, I agree w/ you.

 

But I think there's another level, too. Yes, *I* believe homosexuality is wrong, BUT it's not something I struggle w/. So I imagine that it's my struggle: what if, for some reason, people wanted to make it illegal for dh & I to be married? What if some religion believed it were wrong? Maybe because of our faith, our family background, whatever?

 

Would I like to be legislated against? Nope.

 

At first glance, this looks like what you described: why vote on anything? Let people do whatever they want! But there are things I don't want the freedom to do. I don't want society to stand by & let me hurt my children. (Where the line is between hurting & parenting is obviously another thread.) I don't want the freedom to murder or steal.

 

I can stand on both sides of the theft equation & see that it's not good for anybody. I can *see* that it's not just my pov or my faith or whatever that makes stealing wrong: it is simply wrong.

 

Otoh, if I vote or make decisions from the perspective that I follow the only true faith...that seems like hubris to me. I think...it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt, that the faith they follow is the truest that they've found thus far, & while I believe mine is right *personally* I want the freedom to continue to choose it or NOT CHOOSE IT. Because...what if one of the other "only true faiths" gained power? Would I like to live under their laws?

 

As long as the answer is no, I will vote w/ an eye to my faith and an eye to giving others the same freedom.

 

Jesus did not bring a political revolution in his wake. He only issued a call to those who would follow. *Legislating* our own view of Biblical doctrine (because let's face it--we can't even agree on what we believe the Bible says!) leads to things like the Spanish Inquisition. While there are certainly areas of gray, the Spanish Inquisition was a bit beyond that. ;)

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This is one level to voting, civics, morality--on that level, I agree w/ you.

 

But I think there's another level, too. Yes, *I* believe homosexuality is wrong, BUT it's not something I struggle w/. So I imagine that it's my struggle: what if, for some reason, people wanted to make it illegal for dh & I to be married? What if some religion believed it were wrong? Maybe because of our faith, our family background, whatever?

 

Would I like to be legislated against? Nope.

 

At first glance, this looks like what you described: why vote on anything? Let people do whatever they want! But there are things I don't want the freedom to do. I don't want society to stand by & let me hurt my children. (Where the line is between hurting & parenting is obviously another thread.) I don't want the freedom to murder or steal.

 

I can stand on both sides of the theft equation & see that it's not good for anybody. I can *see* that it's not just my pov or my faith or whatever that makes stealing wrong: it is simply wrong.

 

Otoh, if I vote or make decisions from the perspective that I follow the only true faith...that seems like hubris to me. I think...it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt, that the faith they follow is the truest that they've found thus far, & while I believe mine is right *personally* I want the freedom to continue to choose it or NOT CHOOSE IT. Because...what if one of the other "only true faiths" gained power? Would I like to live under their laws?

 

As long as the answer is no, I will vote w/ an eye to my faith and an eye to giving others the same freedom.

 

Jesus did not bring a political revolution in his wake. He only issued a call to those who would follow. *Legislating* our own view of Biblical doctrine (because let's face it--we can't even agree on what we believe the Bible says!) leads to things like the Spanish Inquisition. While there are certainly areas of gray, the Spanish Inquisition was a bit beyond that. ;)

 

That post was so good I almost swooned. :D

 

It sort of proves what I tend to suspect as well. That two people can appear on the surface to hold vastly different and irreconcilable views on an issue (whether being gay is a sin for instance. I think not myself) but in fact, that disagreement is tiny in comparison to the common ground they can reach and occupy.

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eh? I've never heard any Christians say that people who got married by a judge or whatever weren't actually "married".

 

I was responding to Heather's response above, in which she said that her brother was not technically married because he had a civil ceremony only. I accepted that in good faith.

 

"Marriage" doesn't mean what you're saying it means. There is no strictly religious term for marriage in Christian parlance, that I'm aware of. What we have now, as you mentioned, is a conflation of the legal and the religious. And what has been accepted as "marriage" has had dozens of incarnations throughout history. I think you'll have a hard time proving that "marriage" means only the Christian concept of "spiritual joining". Surely, if you are HistoryMom, you know that :) Marriage, in modern parlance, is primarily a legal term.

 

Do you object Muslims being "married" since they're not Christian and don't have a Christian "marriage"? (If you insist "marriage" is only as your god meant it?)

 

But this is a semantics issue. I don't think gays will give a carp what anyone calls it, so long as it's equal in the eyes of the law.

 

But, if I were pressed on the issue, I'd say, let's keep the word "marriage" for legal examples, and let each religion come up with it's own word for their religious joining.

 

 

I'm sorry, are we understanding each other here? I think I've been clear about my position. Yes, I know marriage is and has been a legal term. :001_huh: However, a couple of Christians on this thread have quite civilly explained that they believe the term to be religious in nature. Ok, if this is the crux of the matter, let's work with that. We can agree that it would work for the government to only handle "unions" for everyone, and each person's own conscience and belief system dictate how they handle their own "marriage"? Great! Let's do that then. Isn't that exactly what you were saying in your post about how France handles it? Wouldn't this give the most people what they want, including same-sex couples who want the legal rights granted to all others in our society?

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I'm sorry, are we understanding each other here? I think I've been clear about my position. Yes, I know marriage is and has been a legal term. :001_huh: However, a couple of Christians on this thread have quite civilly explained that they believe the term to be religious in nature. Ok, if this is the crux of the matter, let's work with that. We can agree that it would work for the government to only handle "unions" for everyone, and each person's own conscience and belief system dictate how they handle their own "marriage"? Great! Let's do that then. Isn't that exactly what you were saying in your post about how France handles it? Wouldn't this give the most people what they want, including same-sex couples who want the legal rights granted to all others in our society?

 

I agree with what you're saying here. I've no beef with this.

 

I may have gotten you mixed up with someone else.

 

Someone was saying that the word "marriage" should be saved for the "Christian" definition of man/woman marriage, and that some other word used for the other unions--because "marriage" meant "God's definition of 'marriage'."

(Though I doubt their god spoke in English when it "created" marriage anyway.)

 

It was a side argument it seemed. A semantic one. "What to call it" was the crux of the argument. Not arguing about the unions so much, as about what name they should bear.

 

I was just responding that I thought the word "marriage" should be used for all legal joinings because that's how it's used today, by various English speaking cultures, regardless of the religion, race, or number of people involved, but different religions could choose a word that represented their religious unions, if it were that important to them to make a distinction between a civil union and their religious union--if they didn't want to accept the word "marriage" for both their opposite-sex union and a same-sex union. It made more sense to me than for only Christians to take over the word "marriage" and make everyone else pick a new word. Language just doesn't evolve in that way.

 

Not a big deal. Not at all. Just word choice. And as a half-arsed linguist, one that interested me. :)

 

Sorry if I was unclear. If it was not you, I do excuse myself.

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Of course, many I have heard say marriage isn't a right and they can get married, just not to someone of the same sex. I think many wonder where it ends with redefinition. Will plural marriages become legal? They should if same-sex marriage is allowed. There would be no reason not to allow it, right? I am not saying I use those statements, I haven't before. But I have heard them more than once.

 

Honestly, I'm not sure what the problem with plural marriages being legal would be, other than that it would be a logistical mess (as I mentioned in another post, marriage contracts are about the conferring of rights/responsibilities to two people--it would be extremely difficult to enforce/execute a marriage contract as currently written for more than two people).

 

I mean that in all seriousness. I don't like the idea of plural marriage. I wouldn't enter into one. I wouldn't want my children entering into one. But I'm kind of hard-pressed to see what harm would be done by allowing consenting adults to enter into them, and I can see harm coming--especially to women and children--when they are illegal (because the women and children who are now living in illegal plural marriage situations are denied the protections they'd have if the relationships were legal).

 

I don't see people who wouldn't already be in a polygamous relationship deciding to enter into one because it was legal. So, for me, it comes down to whether it's better for people who are going to be in polygamous relationships no matter what the law says to be able to enter into a legally-recognized union. And, I think it's probably better that they can enter into a legally-recognized union.

 

So, even if the outcome were that plural marriage became legal, so what? Nobody's church is going to have to perform them, nobody will be forced to enter into them, and the impact on my life would be quite literally nil. Actually, if anything, the only impact most people would see could be slightly less of their tax money going to support plural wives, because currently, since they aren't legally married, many plural wives register for government assistance as single mothers, not claiming the rest of the household income.

 

What we would not see would be adults having the right to marry children (since you have to be a certain age to enter into contracts of any kind without your parents' permission) or people marrying non-human animals (since only humans can enter into legally-binding contracts). I guess I'm not able to muster up any real opposition to consenting adults who want to enter into a legally-recognized marriage being able to do so. I'm not really able to see how the legality of any such union, whether I agree with it theoretically or not, could have a negative impact on me or society.

 

I'm a big, big fan of marriage. I want to see more people married, not less. So, since I think marriage is, on the whole, a good for society, I don't see restricting marriage rights for consenting adults as a good thing.

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But wouldn't, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, we just be catering to folks who are asking for marriage to only be applied to religious ceremonies, if we changed it to a government "union". I hope this is making sense. Why is it, as an atheist, I can get married and no religious person (or rather people who have stricter definitions of the word 'marriage) makes an issue that I say I'm married? When I went and filled out my paperwork, I received a "Marriage License." Then after I got married in a strip center, I received a "Marriage Certificate" from the government. I think "marriage" should be the default. If you want a stricter ceremony, you can say you were "United in holy matrimony in the such and such tradition, etc, etc.". That way, those who feel that there is only one way to "marry" can have their ceremony and leave the rest of us to our plain 'ole marriages.

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But wouldn't, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, we just be catering to folks who are asking for marriage to only be applied to religious ceremonies, if we changed it to a government "union". I hope this is making sense. Why is it, as an atheist, I can get married and no religious person (or rather people who have stricter definitions of the word 'marriage) makes an issue that I say I'm married? When I went and filled out my paperwork, I received a "Marriage License." Then after I got married in a strip center, I received a "Marriage Certificate" from the government. I think "marriage" should be the default. If you want a stricter ceremony, you can say you were "United in holy matrimony in the such and such tradition, etc, etc.". That way, those who feel that there is only one way to "marry" can have their ceremony and leave the rest of us to our plain 'ole marriages.

 

I don't think we need two different names for things. I guess what I think is that clergy should not have the ability to confer legal marriage rights. That should be left to people in strictly secular offices. I don't think any legal rights should be granted through the religious ceremony or by the religious officiant. The religious and secular aspects of marriage should be totally separate.

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I don't think we need two different names for things. I guess what I think is that clergy should not have the ability to confer legal marriage rights. That should be left to people in strictly secular offices. I don't think any legal rights should be granted through the religious ceremony or by the religious officiant. The religious and secular aspects of marriage should be totally separate.

 

I don't think we need two separate names, either. It seems that other people do though. I was just offering something that sounded much more grand than just a mere marriage. :D

 

I agree with the rest of what you say.

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But wouldn't, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, we just be catering to folks who are asking for marriage to only be applied to religious ceremonies, if we changed it to a government "union". I hope this is making sense. Why is it, as an atheist, I can get married and no religious person (or rather people who have stricter definitions of the word 'marriage) makes an issue that I say I'm married? When I went and filled out my paperwork, I received a "Marriage License." Then after I got married in a strip center, I received a "Marriage Certificate" from the government. I think "marriage" should be the default. If you want a stricter ceremony, you can say you were "United in holy matrimony in the such and such tradition, etc, etc.". That way, those who feel that there is only one way to "marry" can have their ceremony and leave the rest of us to our plain 'ole marriages.

 

Hi, Shawna.

 

I don't know if this was in response to me.

 

If it was, I'm not making my case well.

 

(I'm tired. It's a bad excuse, and I really need to leave this thread. I meant to, but I needed to reply to HistoryMom because I may have invoked her name erroneously. :)

 

IMHO

 

The word "marriage" should be for all legal unions, Christian, Jewish, Atheist (including me), etc.

 

If Christian (I'm sure some other religious people too, but I've only heard from Christians on this point, I believe) people want to distinguish their religious union as different from "a legal union that also includes gays" the onus should be upon them to create their own word, meaningful to their religion--rather than taking the word "marriage" for their own and requiring everyone else to create a new word.

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This is one level to voting, civics, morality--on that level, I agree w/ you.

 

But I think there's another level, too. Yes, *I* believe homosexuality is wrong, BUT it's not something I struggle w/. So I imagine that it's my struggle: what if, for some reason, people wanted to make it illegal for dh & I to be married? What if some religion believed it were wrong? Maybe because of our faith, our family background, whatever?

 

Would I like to be legislated against? Nope.

 

At first glance, this looks like what you described: why vote on anything? Let people do whatever they want! But there are things I don't want the freedom to do. I don't want society to stand by & let me hurt my children. (Where the line is between hurting & parenting is obviously another thread.) I don't want the freedom to murder or steal.

 

I can stand on both sides of the theft equation & see that it's not good for anybody. I can *see* that it's not just my pov or my faith or whatever that makes stealing wrong: it is simply wrong.

 

Otoh, if I vote or make decisions from the perspective that I follow the only true faith...that seems like hubris to me. I think...it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt, that the faith they follow is the truest that they've found thus far, & while I believe mine is right *personally* I want the freedom to continue to choose it or NOT CHOOSE IT. Because...what if one of the other "only true faiths" gained power? Would I like to live under their laws?

 

As long as the answer is no, I will vote w/ an eye to my faith and an eye to giving others the same freedom.

 

Jesus did not bring a political revolution in his wake. He only issued a call to those who would follow. *Legislating* our own view of Biblical doctrine (because let's face it--we can't even agree on what we believe the Bible says!) leads to things like the Spanish Inquisition. While there are certainly areas of gray, the Spanish Inquisition was a bit beyond that. ;)

 

Pencilpusher, I love you.

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